Costa Rican Themes
The Rain Forest
I had a hard time finding reading materials about Costa Rica. I mean, actually about Costa Rica. Not about a bunch of non-Ticos who are committed to "saving" the rainforest for the Ticos, or for themselves??? Hmmmm. In Manuel Antonio I saw a sign that said "still more monkeys then people." It was in English.
It was like a guarded playground. Stay on the path.
To summarize: The ex-pats come here to have a vacation home, oh, country. They want the rain forest preserved, because it reduces the number of ex-pats who come here and makes it seem "cleaner", with less poverty among the locals. The locals serve the needs of the ex-pats and the rest of the tourists who come to see the rain forest. So the Ticos never get out of the spiral of working hard, little pay, high taxes.
Politics Far in the Background
Our boat on the Cano Negro came aground at this sign and we were officially in Nicaraqua. Our guide explained a lot of the difficulties between the two countries. Because Costa Rica is without an armed military, it depends upon the Hague to intercede and resolve boundary disputes and such. For instance, Nicaragua wants to build another "panama" canal across its interior, which would connect with a lake in CR. CR doesn't want that to happen, so it goes to Europe to stop it. Pura Vida!
Food: Costa Ricans said they eat rice and beans, breakfast, lunch and dinner. It isn't a joke. We also had pizza (no rice and beans) , but I tried to stay with "local" restaurants. We had wonderful burritos in a little soda in Teleron. Our best meal was at the Aqua Azul in Manuel Antonio.
Art: None to speak of.
Fabric: I found a fabric shop! But no local fabrics.
Food: While rice and beans are main staple, we consumed very little our selves. Instead, we enjoyed perfect steaks, with farm to table beef, fresh, crispy vegetables, and even fresher seafood.
Lodging: With wonderful rooms, and even better views, it truly felt like paradise. One lucky days, all sorts of wild life would approach us, from White Faced Capuchin monkeys to armadillos.
This Particular Tour
This tour was through Gate 1. It was a 10 day itinerary and was called Ten Day Classic Costa Rica with Manuel Antonio.
I think there were around 40 of us in the Gate 1 tour group--people sort of came and went and I found it was hard to remember names. Personally, I found that to be way too many most of the time. When all you see is one tarantula for about 15 seconds, it's hard to get people to share.
The Tour Director--Gilberth--and daily guides were really good. I never saw anything but a smile on Gilberth's face, and yet, what a hard job!
Selvatura Nature Park: A shout out to Selvatura park in the Monteverde cloud forest--wonderful guides, competent fantastic guys on the zip line (thank you lord) and, such a wonderful time.
Brasas de Nara: Thank you, thank you to Alonzo, et.al. for your wonderful warm friendliness. Wonderful horse people, showing us their home, their waterfall in Lourdes (he pronounced it London, but I think he was joking a little). The horses were well cared for and loved, the ride was fun, the swim in the waterfall, even in the dry season, was a great treat. Thumbs up!
Taking my 14-year-old grandson to Costa Rica meant I was looking for a very active itinerary. We made it even more active by avoiding the party boat and adding in the horse back riding and walking whenever we could, whether through the downtown San Jose area, or the walk back to the hotel in Manuel Antonio after the #1 best meal at the Agua Azul restaurant (it's upstairs).